Sunday, 6 June 2021

A Riverside Lunch at Barge East, Hackney Wick.

Finally the sunshine has arrived! For a moment there it really did feel as though the rain would never disappear and let us have a bit of spring warmth. A couple of weekends ago - our first warm-ish one in ages - I made a visit to a great lunch spot in a newish part of London for me. You all know by now that I tend to stick to the same areas, but with my boyfriend living in East London, it was time to explore his area a bit more! A short twenty minute walk along the canal from his apartment is Barge East, a gorgeous 118-year-old Dutch barge on the canalside in Hackney Wick. 


We were invited for lunch and ended up very grateful to have chosen a rain-free day, although there is covered seating if it does rain! We sat in one of the little greenhouses (it has an open doorway so it doesn't get too hot) and loved how cosy it was. We were kindly offered prosecco to start our lunch with, but declined as we're trying to make a conscious effort to reduce our alcohol intake (both of us find that not drinking massively helps our sleep, mental health, and overall wellbeing), and instead opted for a coffee (him) and an elderflower fizz (me).


There are different areas for you to sit in, and you have the choice of sitting on the old barge itself, or on dry land in the gardens or terrace. The gardens around the old barge are very pretty, and the relaxed, canalside setting makes you feel as though you're in the middle of the countryside rather than London. I loved the different areas, and all of them are served by the street food style vans near the entrance. With covid you order through an app and everything is brought to you, but it was still refreshing to have a sort-of street food style experience after 18-months without, and it was the perfect relaxed Saturday afternoon lunch.


Food-wise we were in for a treat! We began by sharing the Hoisin Duck Scotch Egg which was out-of-this world good, but my goodness the mains were even better. I chose the Hackney Cheese Steak Burger, while the boyfriend chose the Buttermilk Chicken Burger, and each came with a side of Chickpea Fries which were unusual but tasty. 


Despite being full-to-bursting, I couldn't resist the Barge Eton Mess (after all, everyone has a separate dessert stomach, right?!), which was an orange cake served with strawberries, vanilla ice-cream and meringue. It was one of the best desserts I've had recently - I absolutely adored the orange cake and am now desperate for the recipe!


Our relaxed lunch at Barge East was just what we needed. We really couldn't have asked for more - a lovely walk along the canal to the barge, delicious food and wonderful service, and although the clouds came over by the time we left, glorious warmth after weeks of rain! It made me feel really excited for summer and we both agreed it would be a great place to visit with a group of friends on another sunny day.


*Our meal was complimentary, however all enthusiastic love for Barge East is legit.
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